Tag Archives: a special place

Ice (almost) Out

We are watching the lake and waiting for ice out. The water is getting wider every day. Last night we made a bet. I think ice out will be 4/29. Ned says 5/2. We’ve bet a nickel. We’ll see who’s right.

The last two days have been warm here on the shores of Messalonskee. We have spent the better part of both days in the sunshine working in the yard and getting ready for spring cleanup. There is a lot of spring cleanup to do – we lost a tree last winter in the high winds and there’s a lot of raking to do. We never got the flower pots in before the dirt froze so we have that to finish, too. We could use a full time gardening crew! (Not likely  to happen!)

Ned has also been planning and chipping away at some granite that he found under the old house. He’s going to make a bird feeder. When the demolition of the old boathouse was complete, he used the backhoe to move the boulder to the front corner of the house. Now he’s decided to move it to the center of the garden nearest our driveway. He’s been “noodling around” a plan to move a 1000 pound rock … yesterday he worked it into its spot. Using a winch, some chair, a sheet of plywood, and some logs he moved the rock across the yard. I watched!

Ned is rebuilding our boathouse with Tom and the Chore Store. They’ve completed the platform on top of the old concrete foundation (a slab was poured late last fall under the old garage end) and then up went the walls. Another day and we had a roof. Watching a building being stick-built is really amazing. Tom and his crew do a great job and Ned is thrilled to have a sturdy building again. He will use the back end as a workshop and the front will still be our boathouse in the spring, summer and fall. We hope the big dock spiders have gone out into the woods never to return.

Today Ned went for his first “swim” when his waders weren’t as long as the water was deep. It was a cold shock for sure! Never the less, he persisted in getting the scaffolding up so that he could wrap the front of the building with whatever-the-wrap is. I wish I could tell you that I have been involved in the process, but I haven’t. I’ve been busy working at the Yardgoods Center while my boss is out of town.  I’m tired from being on my feet and sore but I still love working in the yarn shop!

Our Florida friends are still asking us if we are ready to leave Maine in the winter and if we regret moving up north. The answer is still and unequivocal “NO!” We are so thrilled to wake up in this beautiful place every morning. We love watching the birds return to the feeders, watch the ducks arrive back on the lake. We loved watching the Bald Eagles on the ice all winter long. The feathered loons should be returning soon. The human loons have taken their ice fishing shacks off the ice for another season. It was a good winter and we continue to feel so lucky to live here.

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Time Flies!

I can’t believe that there’s a crispness in the air already! The summer is flying by … and this weekend is Labor Day already! How is it that time flies by so quickly? I decided to choose a few pictures of the summer from beginning to end to show you what’s been going on at our house this summer.

It always makes us happy when the loons return to Messalonskee!

Duck family! We had two families this year.

Kids visiting … tubing is always a favorite activity!

Little cousins visit from the West Coast. They all loved visiting Blueberry Hill with Uncle Ned.

The rope swing is a lot of fun – even for the adults!

One Early Morning

A bit of knitting on the dock.

Another visit from the kids and the grand-dogs. Their favorite activity may be an evening “cocktail cruise”.

The BBD (Big Brown Dog) is happy in the sun on the porch. So are we!

8/28/17 The first morning where there is fog on the lake. The evenings are getting much cooler.

It’s been a wonderful summer and we look forward to the rest of the summer days. And the cooler weather of fall.

We are so fortunate to live here!

40 Years Later

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The Warners 7/30/16 with all five of our children!

Well, we have finally done it.

On Saturday July 30th at 11:00 in the morning we were married in the yard here at our beautiful home. With our children and family in attendance, it was a spectacularly special day full of love and laughter. The weekend stretched from our only boy’s arrival on Tuesday through to the last daughter leaving the following Tuesday. It was everything that we had hoped it would be.

Late nights, beautiful days, water skiing, tubing, swimming, wine drinking and a lot of laughs. We are so blessed. I’ll write more as we come back to the “real world”.

Now for our honeymoon … at home on Messalonskee!

Life is good.

Wow! Lots of Activity

"Warner's"

“Warner’s”We have a lot going on here at “Camp Smedley”! 

 

We have a lot going on here at Warner’s “Camp Smedley”! Our house is nearly finished although I’d argue that it will never really be finished. Homes are a work in progress. Right? Ned and Tom have been working on the porch railings and the steps down to the yard. It’s wonderful to have our coffee on the porch again!

Last week the landscaping was started and it should be wrapped up on Wednesday with our sod going down. This is a huge project! As far as we know, there’s never been any “real” landscaping done here and many of the plants that we planted have not survived.

We hired Native Notions from Belgrade Lakes to do our landscaping. Matt’s design was creative and the plants were appropriate and hardy (and low maintenance). He really listened at our first meeting and delivered a plan that was just what we asked for. Thursday the crew arrived and went to work scraping the old gross yard away and then began to fill it back in with loam and the flower beds began to take shape. A couple of things that we particularly appreciated what that they installed a silt fence to protect the lake and were thoughtful of re-purposing the hosta and day lilies that were planted by Ned’s mother all those ages ago.

Here’s what it looked like before …

The yard on the railroad side of the house ... before

The yard on the railroad side of the house … before (with a little bit of Ned in the top corner)

Helen's Garden Before

Helen’s Garden Before

Lakeside Garden Before

Lakeside Garden Before

Every day when I came home after work I  was pleasantly surprised by the changes that I could see. It’s already a huge improvement and I can’t wait to see the finished project! I hope I took enough before and after pictures so that you can see what a wonderful job they did!

Day 1 - the yard on the railroad side after

Day 1 – the yard on the railroad side after

Day 1 - Lakeside Garden - After

Day 1 – Lakeside Garden – After

Day 1 - Helen's Garden - After

Day 1 – Helen’s Garden – After

One of my favorite parts, oddly enough, is the pathway of rocks around the house that will serve as a drip edge. It’s so pretty!

We are getting ready to have the whole family here for our wedding on July 30. Lots to finish up and clean up in preparation for our big event. I figure if we can live together in our little guest cottage for ten months and build a house without detesting each other we figured it’s time to make it formal!

Every day we thank our lucky stars to be here!

Welcome Fall!

View From the Porch

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We sat on the front porch for the first time the other evening. We were noticing that the swarms of motor boats have become sparse and we haven’t seen any hummingbirds for at least a week. The songbirds have filled up at the feeders and headed south. The Canada Geese are starting to arrive and as of today, so are the cooler temperatures. Ned remarked that we have our lake back. (Well it feels like our lake!)

We are getting a lot done on the house! The cedar shingles are nearly complete and the floor of the front and side porches are finished.

Kitchen is (sheet) rockin'

Kitchen is (sheet) rockin’

Today the Sheetrock guys arrived and got most of the first floor done. It’s remarkable how efficient these professionals are. We are so enjoying seeing what the house is going to look like with walls!

We have ordered the kitchen cabinets and they will be delivered in two weeks. The range hood is in the house and the vent to the outside is installed. The plumbing and electric are roughed in. The bath tub in the guest bathroom upstairs is also in place. The security lights outside are in place. It’s remarkable!

Tomorrow the Chore Store crew will be framing the porch roof on the front of the house. And maybe the side porch, too. The majority of the siding has been bleached. The trim is all stained and touched-up. It’s time to order the appliances! Soon we will have Ron return with his digger to dig the gas, plumbing and whatever other ditches need to be dug. The gas and electric will get connected and we will have a boiler installed to provide us some heat. We are going to need it!

We turned on the space heater in the cabin this week. The mornings, in particular, have been chilly for us. We are out of practice!

A Quick Update

This is what I arrived home to see the other day! The driveway was full of vehicles!

Plumbers and Electricians and contractors, oh my!

Plumbers and Electricians and Contractors, oh my!

IMG_5516We found a plumber and his crew arrived en masse … and got the rough in completed in three days. Woo! Hoo! We are making progress! I was especially excited to see my tub in the guest bathroom upstairs! Thanks to Brian Bickford for the great and speedy job! And thanks to our friend Janna for the recommendation, too.

We are also all closed in! The last door and window went in yesterday. Staining the cedar shingles is happening … it’s supposed to look like driftwood. I like it. Ned not so much (yet.)

The stain will look like driftwood … hopefully

The stain will look like driftwood … hopefully! Do we call this the front door?

Today I went to check on the progress inside and it was all cleaned up! After the insulation went in, it was a mess!  A MESS! (Did I yell it loud enough?) This afternoon it was all clean! Matt wins the golden broom award for cleaning up! I was shocked at how nice everything looks.

Tomorrow when I am in Bangor at a quilting class, Ned’s going to finish staining the top half of the front (lake side) of the house and then the framing for the front porch can happen while the sheet rockers are inside working. Monday we call for our inspection.

Beam-Strewn Yard With Tall Grass and All … Looking Good!

Sunshine!

Sunshine!

We’ve had a damp and humid patch that caused a little bit of stress here at Messalonskee Chronicles headquarters (the little cabin on the hill). When I went to put on a pair of “fancy” sandals, I noticed that my shoes were all covered in mold or mildew. A rough start to that day but we’ve managed to clean them all off and have purchased a little dehumidifier so it (hopefully) doesn’t happen again!

Lots of activity has been happening on our house and we are rolling along toward an occupancy date! Not sure of exactly when that will be, but we are getting closer every day. Meanwhile here’s what we’ve been up to …

Pipes for heat

Pipes for heat

The heating is being installed in the upper floors. We will have radiant heat in our slab on the first floor and baseboard heaters on the second floor. The third floor will have a plug-in unit. We expect to be super warm come winter! (And luckily, if we find ourselves feeling cool, I knit and have made and am making several warming pieces!)

We have also had our electrician here putting in all of his wiring. We have had to make some difficult decisions about where security lights will go and where we want the cans for the kitchen lights, etc.

lights will be nice!

lights will be nice!

 

 

We are grateful for every choice we are making because it means that we’re getting closer and closer to living our dream! (We hear that heat and lights will contribute to our success in Maine in the cooler months!)

 

Windows are here (and mostly installed!)

Windows are here (and mostly installed!)

 

 

 

Siding!

Siding!

 

 

 

We have had many (MANY!) deliveries by Hammond Lumber and we are continually amazed by the drivers who maneuver their big trucks loaded down with lumber, rolls of metal for the flashing and eaves and soffitts down our driveway BACKWARDS! A Hammond delivery is nearly a daily happening here and sometimes we get more than one delivery!

Painting in Progress

Painting in Progress

We’ve been painting the trim that will go around the windows and will be nailed up on the corners of the house. It’s going to look wonderful when we’re finished! It’s already looking better than we ever imagined (well, maybe we did imagine it but it’s amazing in person!)

If you’ve been by on the lake, you’ve seen the progress and many of you have stopped by to say hello. We appreciate your positive comments and looks forward to having a dock put in so you can come ashore and visit for a bit.

View from the Third Floor

View from the Third Floor

 

 

The view is breathtaking from the third floor … well, I think it’s pretty spectacular from every window! The doors arrive tomorrow! I hear we will be working most of the Labor Day weekend … and the kitchen should be coming pretty soon. We just need some plumbing roughed in and then an inspection by the town. We are making progress every day! How lucky we are!

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We are looking good! Beam-strewn yard with tall grass and all!